RECONSTRUCTION OF THE SLIP DISTRIBUTION ALONG THE WEST HELANSHAN FAULT, NORTHERN CHINA BASED ON HIGH-RESOLUTION TOPOGRAPHY
Keywords: Slip distribution, The West Helanshan Fault, High-resolution topography, Photogrammetry method, Fault behaviour
Abstract. The increasing wealthy of high-resolution topography allows for remotely measuring and analysing offset features and their associated surface slip distributions at a very high resolution and along a significant length of a fault, hence providing important insights into many aspects of the fault behaviour. The West Helanshan Fault is a Holocene active fault located at the junction of the Tibetan Plateau, Alashan, and Ordos blocks. Despite its special tectonic location, it has rarely been studied before. In this study, a 2-m-resolution DEM of the West Helanshan Fault was built from the high-resolution (0.5 m) WorldView-3 stereo satellite imagery based on the photogrammetry method, and a total of 181 strike-slip offsets and 201 vertical displacements were acquired along different segments of the fault. By statistical analysis of the offset observations, we conclude that at least six large paleoearthquakes have ruptured the fault, producing a minimum rupture length of ∼50 km, and the paleoearthquakes have followed a characteristic slip pattern with a coseismic strike slip of ∼3 m and a vertical slip of ∼1 m, corresponding to a geologic moment magnitude of 7.1–7.5.